Richard Grenell is a member of the Log Cabin Republicans, an organization of LGBT Republicans founded in 1977. Grenell has been active in Republican politics for years. He served in the U.S. State Department during President George W. Bush’s Administration. Under President Trump, Grenell says he has been the first openly-gay Cabinet member in history. He has served as U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Acting Director of National Intelligence, and Special Presidential Envoy for Serbia and Kosovo Peace Negotiations. Grenell says he is the first open
Grenell has declared Donald Trump as “The Most Pro-Gay President in American History.” A PAC ad making this case for Trump 2020 is posted to Facebook and may be appearing other places as well.
While declaring Trump the most pro-gay President ever, Grenell actually said very little in the ad about Trump himself. His case for Trump was mostly a case against Joe Biden who in the past has supported Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and opposed Marriage Equality.
Most of these charges against Biden are true though taken out of context — particularly with respect to the period of time when Biden held these positions. Many were while he served as U.S. Senator between 1973 and 2009. Right or wrong, Biden’s positions during these decades were consistent with most all Democrats and Republicans. There were few exceptions until relatively late in that period — and even then, it appears Biden was a latecomer. My purpose here is not to defend Biden.
What Has Trump Done?
So what about Trump? How has he done the most ever for LGBT people with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln?
Grenell pointed to a speech by Trump at the United Nations last year declaring that “We stand in solidarity with LGBTQ people who live in countries that punish, jail or execute individuals based upon sexual orientation.”
This is no-doubt a significant step. The question is whether it’s a case of “Do as I say, not as I do.”
While posturing as an LBGT advocate to the world, Trump and his Administration have actively taken numerous steps at home to halt and reverse LGBT rights and protections. To cite just a few:
◼︎ Immediately upon taking office, scrubbed all mention of LGBT people and issues from the White House and other Federal websites. Only a few limited references can be found today.
◼︎ Filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court against protecting LGBT people under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Trump’s effort was unsuccessful. The Court extended protections in a ruling on June 15, 2020.
◼︎ Opposed the Equality Act, an LGBT rights bill pending in Congress.
◼︎ Supported and pledged to sign First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) legalizing wide discrimination against LGBT people based on religious or moral convictions.
◼︎ Reversing a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”), Health and Human Services (HHS) invoked a new rule removing explicit protections for LGBTQ people in healthcare programs and activities by excluding protections from discrimination based on sex stereotyping and gender identity.
◼︎ Issued a proposed HHS rule to stop data collection on the sexual orientation of youth, and their related issues, in the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS).
◼︎ HHS systematically discriminated against LGBT families in federally supported foster care programs.
◼︎ Ended investigation of alleged civil rights violations against transgender students.
◼︎ Department of Education removed “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as terms to track in bullying data, crippling the ability to identify and address such bullying.
◼︎ Banned transgender people from serving in the military.
◼︎ Solicitor General filed 35-page amicus brief to the Supreme Court to defend an agency’s right in Philadelphia to discriminate against same-sex couples looking to become foster parents.
◼︎ Just this month, filed a 36-page brief with the Indiana Supreme Court to support a school’s alleged right to fire a teacher for being gay.
And on, and on, and on…
No wonder Grenell earned four pinnochios from the Washington Post for his utterly absurd and baseless assertion. I’m don’t know who might qualify as “The Most Pro-Gay President in American History” but it surely ain’t Trump. With friends like this…
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